BRIDGEPORT, Conn -- Known nationally as the "Gold Coast" due to its high standard of living, Fairfield County also boast a far more adventurous and swashbuckling reason for bearing this unique moniker.
A new pirate-inspired exhibit at the Housatonic Museum of Art examines the Nutmeg State's rich nautical history, shining a light on the sometimes darker side of the high seas. Designed by contemporary artist, Joe Zucker, "Scrolls," allows attendees to experience beautifully crafted paintings designed to resemble sails and pirate scrolls. Works of frigates, sails and Jolly Roger flags surround the exhibit, with pieces ranging from eight feet in length to only 20 inches tall.
"Joe Zucker has mined the history of pirates in our area, including rumors of Captain Kidd burying his treasure in Bridgeport, Milford and on Gardiners Island," said Robbin Zella, executive director of the Housatonic Museum of Art. "He has created beautiful artwork to celebrate those accounts. If you love pirates, you’ll love this show."
One of history's most famous high sea robbers, Captain William Kidd, is known to have stopped along the Connecticut coast in 1699, shortly before he was captured in Boston. Having seized the imagination of Connecticut residents, many to this day still attempt to locate Kidd's treasure, so far unsuccessfully. "Scrolls" is designed to share this local connection to some of history's most famous pirates.
The exhibition is currently running through Dec. 1, with several related programs planned. These include a gallery discussion on Oct. 3, a discussion of famous female pirates, as well as a lecture with the artist. A pirate-themed cocktail fundraiser to benefit the museum will also be held on Oct. 29.
“The Housatonic Museum of Art is a perfect space for the exhibit,” said Zucker, who's work has been featured in The Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum and others. “The exhibit is all about the metaphor of pirates," he said. "There is the stealing, but there is also the romantic side, there’s a duality. In the show, you can see literal imagery of pirates, but if you know about 20th-century painting there is something for those people too.”
The Housatonic Museum of Art is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport, CT. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
To learn more, visit Housatonic Museum's website or call 203-332-5052.